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Sarawak has potential to be fashion tourism destination, says Nancy

Ong presents a bouquet to Nancy as the fourth Annual Mad Hatters Party comes to an end. — Picture by Muhammad Rais Sanusi via Borneo Post Online

KUCHING, Oct 26 — Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri believes Sarawak has the potential to be an international fashion tourism destination.

The minister stated that Sarawak possesses rich cultural diversity highlighted by beautiful traditional headgear which attracts local and international tourists.

“Their designs are evocative, reflecting traditions and age-old folklore passed down from generation to generation.

By boldly pushing the boundaries of fashion and heritage through creative themed party, each designer here has created new ways of looking at our heritage with 250 tickets sold out a month before the party,” she said during the fourth Annual Mad Hatters Party organised by Society Atelier Sarawak here on Saturday night.

She believed that Sarawak can set up an area similar to ‘Spitalfields Market’ in East London as home for creative fashion as the state has one of Malaysia’s pioneering defenders of heritage craft, the award winning Society Atelier Sarawak president, Edric Ong.

Nancy hoped the fashion show and craft bazaar set up would pull visitors to the state from around the country and the world.

She added that her ministry had supported the society’s participation in the recent online Aspara Fashion Week in Kazakhstan with videos of 14 local designers filmed at Sarawak Cultural Village and University College Technology Sarawak getting a lot of views on YouTube.

“This is the new normal. With technology, we can now go global to promote our local people and products.”

Nancy stated that tourism was the third biggest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with RM86.1 billion or 15.9 per cent for 2019 while the cultural sector, including performing arts, visual arts, craft, and heritage recorded RM585.4 million on the return of investment.”

She was optimistic about the prospects and opportunities for local arts and culture post Covid-19.

Initiatives by the federal government included setting up of E-Kraf Bazar which benefitted 1,198 craft entrepreneurs in Sarawak and RM1 billion National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) Tourism Financing facilities.

Source — Borneo Post Online

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